This Pumpkin pecans cake with cream cheese frosting is a pure pleasure. The cake has an incredible nutty flavor thanks to the presence of the pecans, while the frosting has an intense caramel taste. All served with a beautiful shiny and crunchy pecans crown lying down on the frosting.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Nutty and caramel flavor.
- A great make-ahead recipe.
- Super moist texture.
- Perfect for the Fall season.
This pumpkin pecan cake is well balanced in taste and contains low sugar in it and the frosting. For this reason, it can be an excellent alternative for those who are looking for a less sweet cake but still want a delicious dessert. It’s quite different from the ordinary pumpkin cake as it doesn’t have spices, however, if you are looking for a spices treat, why not try these pumpkin chocolate muffins. Even so, you are welcome to add them.
In this recipe, the main ingredient is the pumpkin puree, which is combined with the pecan praline blended in the food processor until it becomes powder. Then the top of the cake is covered with a lovely cloud of frosting made of cream cheese and salted caramel sauce, pure heaven. To finish, a beautiful crown of caramelized pecans is lying down on the frosting, not to mention the moist texture of the pumpkin pecan cake! Furthermore, the soft savory cream and the crunchiness of the pecans will make you dream at every bite. Trust me, one slice of this cake will not be enough. Do I have to say more?
Enjoy this luscious pumpkin pecans cake with a nice cup of tea while cozy you up on the sofa staring at the fireplace flame or looking at the beautiful color that the Fall season gives us from the window. Either way, it’ll be a luxury break. Another dessert that I suggest you try is this Italian flourless chocolate cake with a soft and moist chocolate heart or this coffee cake with mascarpone and hazelnut butter to increase the pleasure.
Pumpkin puree– use the bought pumpkin puree from the store for this recipe, or you are welcome to make your own.
Pecans– give a nutty and buttery flavor. It’s enhanced from the roasting process.
Sugar– use caster sugar to caramelize the pecans. While golden caster sugar is used for the cake.
Water– use to caramelize the pecans.
Eggs– use medium free-range or organic fresh. Always use them at room temperature to achieve better results.
Vegetable oil– use sunflower oil as it has a mild flavor.
Whipping cream– replace the butter and give a moist and soft texture to the pumpkin cake.
Flour– use plain flour. Ensure to sift the flour before adding it to the wet ingredients to prevent any lumps in the batter.
Raising agents– baking powder and baking soda help raise the cake and create an excellent spongy and airy structure.
Salt– enhance the flavor.
Cream cheese– use full-fat cream cheese as Philadelphia. The fat in the cream cheese will replace the butter and yet will provide a beautiful texture.
Salted caramel– provides a buttery and caramel taste that works perfectly with the acidity of the cream cheese.
Powdered sugar– create a smooth frosting as it dissolves better in it.
Vanilla– try to use the seeds of the vanilla pod instead of the essence.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTION*
*Note: this is just a quick introduction. Please read the recipe card for the full instructions.
The pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is pretty simple to make even though looks complicated. Don’t be afraid, as most of the steps can be made in advance and don’t require you to be a patisserie chef.
Praline and caramelized pecans
- Prepare the praline. Roast the pecans in a hot pan for a few minutes to release the essential oils. Set them aside. Meanwhile, melt the sugar in a saucepan* on medium heat until will have a golden color. Pour the caramel over the pecans and set them aside. Once the pecans are cool blend them to obtain a powder.
*Tip: use a milk pan with a tall base, to prevent the sugar from being burning.
2. Prepare the caramelized pecans. In a frying pan add the pecans, sugar, and water. Cook and keep stirring until the nuts are caramelized. Pour the pecans in a baking paper to cool.
1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven at 160°C fans, 4 gas mark, or 180°C convection oven. Grease the tin and covert it with baking paper.
2. Combine the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk vigorously the sugar, the salt, and the eggs. Then pour the sunflower oil, the whipped cream, the vanilla seeds, and the pumpkin puree and give a good mix.
3. Add in the dry ingredients. Sift in a bowl the flour, and the raising agents. Add the pecan praline, and the sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine them all with a good whisk, don’t over mix*.
*Tip: in doing that we will prevent that the cake will not have a gummy texture. So we’ll not activate the gluten.
4. Bake. Bake the cake for 60 minutes, if after that time the cake is not ready bake for an extra 10 minutes. The cake will be ready when inserting a toothpick it will come out clean and dry.
Cream cheese frosting
1. Make the frosting. In a medium bowl whisk the cream cheese* and the powdered sugar for a few seconds until light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel and continue to whisk until you’ll have a texture similar to the whipped cream.
*Tip: to obtain a buttery-looking frosting use cold cream cheese.
Decorate the cake
1. Assembling. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake and then place the caramelized pecan on top of it creating a crown.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do store the cake?
Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, of course. However, I recommend freezing just the cake by itself without the frosting. Cut it into slices and wrap them individually in some baking paper. Place them in a container with a lid or a freezer bag. Remove the slices of the cake that you desire from the freezer and let them defrost at room temperature. Serve them with some whipped cream, and chopped pecans or with his frosting cream.
Can be made ahead?
Yes, of course. You can certainly prepare the caramelized pecans, the praline, and bake the cake the day before. Once the pecans are cooled off, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Before serving make the frosting and assemble the cake. Bon appetite!!
Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting
- 2 Medium bowl
- Balloon whisk
- Frying pan
- Milk saucepan
- Baking paper
- Loaf tin (900gr)
- 60 gr caster sugar
- 60 gr pecans skin on
- 100 gr pecans skin on
- 80 gr caster sugar
- 23 gr water
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 120 gr golden caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 200 gr pumpkin puree
- 1 pod vanilla seeds
- 140 gr sunflower oil
- 80 gr whipped cream with 35% of fat cold from the fridge
- 220 gr plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 230 gr cream cheese full fat like Philadelphia
- 50 gr salted caramel
- 80 gr powdered sugar
- Roast the pecans in a hot pan on medium heat for a few minutes to realize the essence oil. Once they are ready, place them in a baking tray covered with some baking paper to cool off.
- Meanwhile, melt the sugar in the milk pan on medium heat. Using a milk pan with a tall base prevents the sugar from burning. Don't move or stir the sugar at the first stage of his caramelization, this will prevent the creation of sugar crystals. Once the sugar is starting to melt completely you can turn the pan around to help to liquefy the sugar evenly. The caramel is ready when it will become a golden color.
- Pour the caramel over the pecans and set them aside.
- Once the pecans are cooled off blend at high speed to obtain a powder. Set it aside.
- Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper. In a steel frying pan add the pecans, the sugar and pour the water.
- Cook over medium heat and stir continuously with the help of a wooden spoon.
- Initially, the sugar will start to melt and after a few minutes, it will start to boil. Keep stirring.
- When the pecans have taken on a sandy consistency, lower the heat and continue stirring until the sugar begins to caramelize and take on a dark amber color.
- Pour the pecans into the pan and with the help of a fork keep them separate from each other. When the nuts are starting to cool, separate them with your hand.
- Preheat the oven at 160°C fans, 4 gas mark, or 180°C convection oven, grease the tin, and covert it with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl add the golden caster sugar, salt, and eggs. Whisk vigorously the ingredients with a balloon whisk until you'll have a pale texture.
- Pour the sunflower oil, the whipped cream, the vanilla seeds, and the pumpkin puree back into the medium bowl. Give it a good mix until is all well combined. It'll take just a few seconds.
- Before starting to mix the dry ingredients sift in a bowl the flour and the raising agents.
- Add the dry ingredients and the powder pecan praline back into the medium bowl. Whisk them all with a balloon whisk vigorosuly until is all good combined. Don't over mix the batter, we don't want to have a gummy texture.
- Bake the cake for 60 minutes, if after that time the cake is not ready bake for an extra 10 minutes. The cake will be ready when inserting a toothpick it will come out clean and dry. Leave the cake to cool off before removing it from the tin and spreading the frosting.
- In a medium bowl add the cream cheese and the powdered sugar and whisk until light and fluffy (to obtain a buttery-looking frosting use cold cream cheese). Add the salted caramel and continue to whisk until you'll have a texture similar to the whipped cream. Set the frosting in the fridge to rest.
- Once the cake and the caramelized pecans are cooled off you can start by decorating the cake. On a serving plate, arrange the cake carefully and spread the frosting over it with a spatula. Lay down the caramelized pecans creating a crown on top of each other over the frosting. Bon appetite!!